- By Robert ZeligerRobert Zeliger is News Editor of Foreign Policy.
A Brazilian woman with the title of oldest person in the world died yesterday. Maria Gomes Valentim was just two weeks shy of her 115th birthday. For those keeping track, the new oldest person in the world is an American, Besse Cooper, who is 48 days younger than Valentim.
According to the Gerontology Research Group, which tracks supercentenarians — people older than 110 — there are 87 known people in the world who fit that description.
Foreign Policy crunched the numbers to figure out the countries in the world with the most supercentenarians.
33 – Japan
20 – United States
11 – Italy
10 – United Kingdom
6 – France
3 – Belgium
1 each in Australia, Barbados, German, and Portugal
And the five oldest people on the planet today:
1. Besse Cooper, born Aug. 26, 1896 (American)
2. Chiyono Hasegawa, born Nov. 20, 1896 (Japanese)
3. Venere Pizzinato-Papo, born Nov. 23, 1896 (Italian)
4. Shige Hirooka, born Jan. 16, 1897 (Japanese)
5. Dina Manfredini, born April 4, 1897 (American, though born in Italy)
Joshua Keating is associate editor at Foreign Policy and the editor of the Passport blog. He has worked as a researcher, editorial assistant, and deputy Web editor since joining the FP staff in 2007. In addition to being featured in Foreign Policy, his writing has been published by the Washington Post, Newsweek International, Radio Prague, the Center for Defense Information, and Romania's Adevarul newspaper. He has appeared as a commentator on CNN International, C-Span, ABC News, Al Jazeera, NPR, BBC radio, and others. A native of Brooklyn, New York, he studied comparative politics at Oberlin College.| War of Ideas |